Saturday, October 31, 2015


Something to keep aware of next week: 2 more wins and Coach Dickinson will have coached 150 "W"s as head of the Brockport program. 


The good people at have posted a detailed season preview of the Golden Eagles. Check it out here:


College President Macpherson dropped the puck on what is
one of the most highly-anticipated seasons in recent memory
(photo courtesy Brockport Athletics and Tori Langseder)

All the anticipation for last night's season opener at Tuttle North was definitely worth it. The Golden Eagles came out firing on all cylinders.

Here's the recap from the Athletic Department...

The College at Brockport ice hockey team exploded with six unanswered goals to cap off a season opening victory over State University of New York Athletic Conference rival SUNY Cortland Friday night. A balanced offense allowed 10 Golden Eagles to tally at least one point in the 6-2 win.

Cortland (0-1 overall, 0-1 SUNYAC) took a 1-0 lead into the second period but Brockport (1-0, 1-0) answered back with four goals in seven minutes to take a commanding 4-1 lead.

Jesse Facchini got the scoring started midway through the second period as he broke up a Red Dragon pass in the neutral zone and was able to breakaway and tuck the puck into the top corner of the goal.

Quick passing helped the Golden Eagles score their second goal as Jake Taylor and Aidan Verbeke moved the puck up the ice and were able to find Chase Nieuwendyk in front of the goal. Two minutes later Nieuwendyk picked up an assist on David Horan's goal to give Brockport a 3-1 lead. Brockport kept its offense going and scored a mere 15 seconds later. Cortland won the ensuing faceoff but Nieuwendyk stole the puck and took a quick shot. Chris Luker pounced on the rebound and made a sharp pass to Brian Hurlimann who netted Brockport's fourth goal of the period.

The Golden Eagles weren't done yet as they tacked on two more goals in the third. With just over six minutes remaining, Nick Palumbo shot the puck and Nieuwendyk snatched the rebound and quickly took a shot for his second goal of the game. Zac Sikich capped off the scoring with a two-on-one breakaway goal. Chris Luker fed a pass to Ryan Kangas. Kangas passed across the lane to Sikich who nailed a shot past the goaltender. Cortland scored on a power play goal late in the third but it wasn't enough as Brockport prevailed 6-2 in its first game of the season.

Jared Lockhurst earned the win after stopping 32 Cortland shots including 13 in the second period.

The Golden Eagles will head to Oswego State Saturday to take on the Lakers at 7 p.m.

Some of my thoughts...

The Big 3 did their job: The success of the team firmly rests on the shoulders of the Big 3 -- forward Chase Nieuwendyk, blueliner Chris Luker and puckstopper Jared Lockhurst. As they go, so goes the team. Last night saw them all excel...Nieuwendyk looks primed for another All-American honor as he had 2 goals and 2 assists; Luker assisted on 2 lamplighters; and Lockhurst was nearly unbeatable and incredibly sharp for a season opener.

Lunchbucket goals were -- and are -- the key to success: Brockport dominated last night on the strength of blue-collar hockey, which bodes well for the season. Far too often you see teams in DIII get cute, nervous or overly confident in their slapshots and they take many shots from just inside the blueline or at the far edge of the face-off circle. The teams that succeed -- like Oswego -- take it to the net and score most of their goals from within 10 feet of the crease. That's what Brockport did last night, pushing their way through and scoring 5 of their goals from that territory and closer -- the scorers were within 5 feet of the crease! There was no quit as the team attacked every rebound and kept on the puck. If they can do that tonight against Oswego...look out!

The hustle extended beyond goal scoring: Quite a few of the forwards showed excellent backchecking and defensive skills, complementing all of our big d-men. One fellow who kept catching my attention was Ryan Kangas who showed no quit in his efforts to steal the puck or force turnovers when he was found in the defensive zone.

This is the game the fans needed: Although the box score shows only 300 people were in the stands, it certainly looked like more than that, especially in the second period when the student section was pretty full. It was the type of game they needed to see as it will keep them coming back for more. Among the fans in attendance was our new college president Heidi Mcpherson, who participated in the ceremonial puck drop.  

This is the game the team needed: In this game the team picked up where they left off last an offensive juggernaut that really showed how scary they could be in the season-ending playoff loss to Plattsburgh. It's always seems to be the case that Brockport starts the season slow and then picks it up around Thanksgiving. Starting the season this hot? Phew! The sky's the limit!

Friday, October 30, 2015


The Brockport Athletic Department produced this YouTube video that's an almost 3-minute interview with head coach Brian Dickinson who discusses what to expect from the upcoming season....

Thursday, October 29, 2015


The fellows at issued their SUNYAC preview today. They have Plattsburgh and Oswego at the top and Brockport in fifth place. I like how they keenly picked Potsdam to finish 3rd, which is not a team that immediately comes to mind as a powerhouse, but when you look at it, they really have all the pieces to succeed. That speaks to the quality of the conference. I've said it a million times: There's no such thing as an easy game in SUNYAC play.

Read their report here:

USCHO SUNYAC PREVIEW posted its annual SUNYAC preview today. Plattsburgh and Oswego are cited as the teams to beat (aren't they always?). Brockport is picked to finish fourth in the conference while Chase Nieuwendyk is listed as Brockport's player to watch.

Read it here:


In advance of Friday's home opener, the game day program is available online:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


I have a letter to the editor in this week's Stylus; done in an effort to get more college students into the stands at Tuttle North Ice Arena. Here it is...

In New York there’s one thing we know for sure: Ice hockey is a part of our culture. Almost Canadian in our ways, we follow the sport more intently (and insanely) than Southerners do their NCAA football or NASCAR. We’re not at a loss for the chance to see or play hockey here in the Empire State. We have 3 NHL teams, 4 AHL teams, and countless organizations at the junior, minor and collegiate level. On top of that, tens of thousands of youth and adults play in leagues across the state. You could say - for players and spectators alike - that hockey is an important part of our lives.

But, being a fan doesn’t come cheaply. Sabres tickets average $50. That’s pretty expensive and a real turn-off to financially-strapped fans. Rochester Americans tickets are a lot cheaper, averaging $15 a pop. Still, when you’re already facing some pretty impressive financial burdens as student, $15 is $15. It’s something you really can’t afford to part ways with, especially if you’d like to see a few games during one of our dull snowbound winters.

So, if you’re craving to watch some hockey on the cheap, you need look no further than right here on campus. When the Golden Eagles hockey team hits Tuttle North Ice Arena students can watch the games for free. Townies and alumni will need to shell out just a few bucks.

And, best of all, it’s some great hockey!

If you like the pros, you’ll love college hockey. It moves at a much faster pace and the hits and goals come in bunches. It’s not like you’re watching a bunch of bums, either, because most of the guys on the team played at some level of amateur or junior hockey in which they honed their skills and played against some of the best hockey players on the planet. You can see that in the amazing saves by Jared Lockhurst, the two-way brilliance of defenseman Chris Luker, and the exciting goals by All-American Chase Nieuwendyk.

These guys always face the very best in the NCAA and always perform admirably. Last year, the Golden Eagles were one of the most competitive (and frightening) teams in Division III, scaring nationally-ranked teams like Plattsburgh, even coming close to beating them in the second round of the playoffs. These guys are always in the game and play it close. Every game is nail-biter! With a style of play like that this might be the year they upset a lot of teams and make some serious noise in the playoffs.

The Golden Eagles begin their 2015-2016 season this Friday, October 30 at 7:00 PM when they host Cortland. The Eagles will go on to play another 10 home games through February. Make sure you get out to a few - if not all - of these games. It’s good, cheap fun and some really exciting old-time hockey.

For information and news throughout the season, make sure you regularly visit 

By Bob Confer
Class of 1996

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


The long-awaited 2015-2016 season begins this Friday with a weekend of SUNYAC play.

On Friday the Golden Eagles host Cortland for a 7:00 affair. The Red Dragons were 9-13-3 last season and split the season series with Brockport, winning the first game 5-4 and losing the second one 3-1.

This year’s team will be without Nick Zappia, who had an absolutely stellar senior year with a 24-23-47 line. But, that doesn’t mean the team is lacking in firepower. Sophomores Dan Broderick and Darren McCormick should continue to confound opponents. Broderick had a great 17-23-40 line last year while McCormick’s stats were 9-24-33. Another fellow to watch out for is Tommy Nolan who had 10 goals last season, his first. As those three men continue their maturation on the ice, they will be a constant source of frustration for Brockport and the rest of the SUNYAC for the next 3 seasons.  

While Cortland can score a lot of goals, they can allow a bunch, too. They allow too many shots on goal and their goaltenders Drew Weigman and Kollyn Jones always seem to get a workout and they perform admirably under such barrages. They average 35 shots faced per game. So, Brockport will have its chances against Cortland.

It will be a tough game, but with the home ice advantage Brockport should come out on top.

There’s no such thing as an easy game in SUNYAC, and Brockport understands that both on Friday and heading into Saturday’s game against Oswego…at Oswego (this season, all but two of Brockport’s SUNYAC weekends see them at home and on the road, rather than hosting two home games or traveling twice).

Oswego was, well, Oswego last year, playing at the Lakers usual high level. They finished 19-5-4. Although they lost the SUNYAC championship to Plattsburgh, they continued on in the playoffs where they beat Hobart and lost to Adrian.

Brockport was very competitive with Oswego last year, tying them 4-4 (at Oswego no less) while falling to them 3-1 at home.

As usual, Oswego brings a dominating offensive philosophy to the ice. 7 players had 24 or more points last season and 5 of them return this season. Shawn Hulshof had 20 goals last season while his line mate Alex Botten had 29 assists. On special teams, watch for Matt Galati, who had 8 goals on the man advantage. Also, Kenny Neil is no slouch, either, as he lit the lamp 5 times on the power play.

By keeping the puck in the opponents’ half of the ice, Oswego needs netminders who can save the day when needed and they surely have that in Matt Zawadski (.922) and senior Justin Gilbert (.933). They have some electric defensemen in front of them, too, as four returning defensemen had 10 or more points last year.

Saturday’s game will be tough, especially after a high-energy game on Friday and the long commute on Saturday. The Golden Eagles’ defensemen will have to be at the top of their game and it will be up to Brockport goalie Jared Lockhurst to quiet the Oswego crowd.   

Monday, October 26, 2015


As we head into another season, it's time once again to reflect on how awesome DIII hockey is. The following article ran in Along the Boards over the summer and is worth a look. It was penned by Dylan Knox who played for DIII Framingham State last season and will be playing for DI UMBC this year. It's an excellent report on why DIII hockey can have players just as talented and games just as competitive as Division I...

Friday, October 23, 2015


The puck doesn't officially drop on the season until a week from today, but that doesn't mean that you can't get your fix and get yourself further excited for the 2015-2016 campaign which is bound to be a great one.

The public is invited to attend the green & white game this Saturday at 5:00 PM at Tuttle North. The ultimate practice/preseason event, it will simulate the action of a regular game in order to get the men ready for the first game of the season next Friday, which is against a SUNYAC foe no less.

The team is looking to get as many fans as possible to the Green & White game so they can appreciate the excellent team that will be taking the ice this year.

Here's what Coach Dickinson has to say about it:

"As we prepare for the upcoming season, the coaching staff is excited to see how the players will react in a game like situation. The annual Green & White game allows us to simulate a game day so that our players will hopefully be prepared for the opening game on Friday, October 30th. We’ve had a great week of practice getting to see the boys on the ice and we’ve been working hard on possessing the puck and playing in small areas. All our players came back to school in great shape and worked hard this fall to maintain their conditioning levels so that we’ll be able to put together back to back solid efforts next weekend.

The staff is excited to see what each player will bring to the team and the Green & White game will allow us to evaluate players in game situations. We’re all looking forward to a great season and hope to see Tuttle North packed for our Season opener next Friday."

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Here's the annual public service announcement about safety at hockey games from none other than Don Cherry. It takes on special meaning nowadays when so many people seem to pay more attention to their phones than they do the game. And I agree with Ron MacLean, it's just not women who need to pay attention, it's everyone. Be safe!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Monday, October 19, 2015


Carmen DelPlato has posted onto YouTube another great video. This one is the full broadcast of the December 4, 1987 game when Brockport poured in on Geneseo, 6-3. Great vintage hockey!


Many a fellow who laced up skates for the Golden Eagles probably wishes he saved old copies of the Stylus so he could relive some of the games and the many memories that hockey brought him. Now, our hockey players of the past have that chance. Archives of the Brockport Stylus are available online at NYS Historic Newspapers, going all the way back to 1914. A cursory search of the word "hockey" shows some 2,800 pages worth of material. Read up and enjoy...I know I will. The web address is:


Carmen DelPlato has posted online the full TV broadcast of a 3-2 Brockport win over Cortland from November 21, 1987! It's awesome footage and it shows some great uniforms and big crowds and it hearkens back to an era when you could be physical on the ice and the team had cheerleaders. Good stuff!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


All-American Chase Nieuwendyk provides
plenty of firepower

The Brockport Golden Eagles had a standout season in 2014-2015, going 13-12-2 overall, while finishing 6-8-2 in conference play. After securing the sixth and final playoff spot, they manhandled their greatest rival Geneseo in the first round and came so, so close to upsetting the Plattsburgh Cardinals in the second round, tying the game in the third before falling 7-5 (Plattburgh’s seventh goal was last minute empty netter).

We got a taste for such electric and competitive play during the regular season, when the Golden Eagles tied powerhouse Oswego 4-4 and twice scared Plattsburgh in what were Brockport losses (0-1 and 3-4 scores).

In all of those games, including the playoffs, Brockport was just one goal, one mistake, one moment away from possibly snaring a victory. Things could have so easily gone the Golden Eagle’s way in any of those (and other) affairs. That’s how close Brockport is to going to the next level and becoming SUNYAC champions – and maybe something more.

After having lost just four players to graduation at the end of the season (albeit major contributors), what remained from the 2014-2015 roster is intact and the coaches, once again, recruited some top-level talent.

Brockport was in the top half of DIII teams when it came to scoring last year, their 3.11 goals per game good for 32nd in the country. 27 of their 84 goals came on the power play, which had that specialty unit ranked 14th in the country, and 2nd in the SUNYAC after Oswego. The team was well-balanced, with 6 men having 6 or more goals, and 10 having 10 or more points.

Despite that balance, the team’s offensive success is heavily reliant on one man – Chase Nieuwendyk. While no other Golden Eagle lit the lamp more than 7 times, Nieuwendyk found the back of the net an amazing 18 times (the 14th best output in the whole country). Of those, 9 were with the man advantage, good for 2nd in the nation. With 12 assists to go with them, he amassed 30 points. Especially awesome was his line in SUNYAC play, 11-8-19 in 16 conference games. That led to his being chosen for the All-SUNYAC first team while becoming just the second All-American in Brockport hockey history (after the great James Cody), getting Third Team East honors. Nieuwendyk is now in his senior season, so appreciate his play while you can – he is an amazing talent; fast and creative, there are 5 or 6 times a game when your jaw drops while watching him trying to make something out of nothing. 

While the statistical gap between him and the rest of the forwards is vast, that doesn’t mean Brockport is lacking in firepower. Some guys should see their numbers grow quite well. Ryan Kangas had a great freshman season, posting a 6-15-21 line. His maturation on the ice, and being paired with Nieuwendyk for a whole season should see both his goals scored and assists rise this year. There’s no sophomore slump in the cards for this talented kid.

Expect to see good numbers from fellow sophomore Dylan Shapiro. His 4-4-8 line belied his talent last year. His effortless flow to the puck and net last year put some of the conference’s bigger d-men to shame. He should capitalize on that and get some goals this year. Likewise for second year player Zac Sikich who had 6 goals as a freshman and can get shots off quickly…he has double-digit goal talent and is willing to take shots from tougher angles.

As for upperclassman, look for big things out of Jeremy DeFazio, James Ryan, and Jake Taylor. DeFazio’s output has been increasing every year and last season the hard-charging forward – who is a treat to watch -- hustled his way to a 5-9-14 line. 20 points is not out of the question. Ryan was outstanding on the power play last year, getting 5 such goals, while netting 7 overall. He had 8 goals the previous season and is always Johnny-on-the-spot; the kid could be deadly in an extended playoff run. Taylor, who will be a junior, had another solid season. After scoring 10 goals as a freshman, he had a 6-10-16 line last season, with 11 points in SUNYAC games. He could certainly surpass his freshman totals this season, especially with a slapshot like his.

The offense gets a lot of support from an atypical place – the blue line. Defenseman Chris Luker had another brilliant offensive season – he followed up his 9-13-22 sophomore season with a 4-19-23 campaign and First Team All-SUNYAC honors for the second season in a row. A very strong case can be made that he deserved All-American recognition, especially last season when he was 7th in the nation in points among defensemen and he had already established himself as a great two-way defenseman. That slight will be a great motivator for Luker, who, when he puts his mind to something, can be transformative: Consider his freshman year when he led the team with 44 penalty minutes – in the years that followed had just 14 and 8, and became the most decorated d-man in Brockport history. I don’t know how a blueliner can build on consecutive 20-point seasons, but he will. All-American honors would be the icing on the cake for a great career.  

Luker is joined by a solid supporting cast. Jonathan Demme is the team captain this year and is a “defenseman’s defenseman.” He doesn’t put up big numbers (no goals and 4 assists last year), but he doesn’t have to. It’s not his job. His duty is to contain the conference’s biggest threats, something he does quite well and without sloppiness – he had just 10 penalty minutes last season and only 4 in SUNYAC play (he doesn’t make mistakes). Robbie Hall saw a lot of ice time last season and with the graduation of Bobby Chayka, it will be on him and Brian Hurlimann to fill the void of physicality. Hall could surprise and provide some fireworks from the blue line…he has the potential to post a 12 point season.

If and when the pucks get past the defensemen, Brockport has a great #1 in goal. There should be no worries even though the team lost to graduation Aaron Green who had a brilliant senior season and finished off a very nice career that put him near the top in all of the key statistical categories. Senior Jared Lockhurst came into the NCAA with great fanfare and admiration, especially from opposing coaches who publically sang his praises and, he began each of his first three seasons as the starter. But, the injury bug seems to have always had other plans for Lockhurst and he has often found himself watching. When healthy, he has been brilliant with save percentages of .919 as a freshman, .903 as a sophomore, and .910 as a junior. Due to injuries (and, last year, Green’s hot hand), Lockhurst had been limited to 14, 14 and 10 games. If he can stay injury-free this year, expect him to be in .920 territory. He has excellent mechanics, positioning and attitude -- he has preternatural calmness on the ice.

In the offseason, Coaches Brian Dickinson and Stephen Mallaro recruited 2 goaltenders among their 7 pick-ups to back-up Lockhurst. Here’s the skinny on all of the recruits…


It’s an excellent recruiting class, one that addresses some weaknesses and areas of need while preparing for the future. Preparing for the future is critical, as after this season the team will be without the likes of Demme, Lockhurst, Luker, Nieuwendyk, DeFazio, Ryan, Chad Cummings, and Jesse Facchini. That’s a lot of talent to lose in one year, especially when you are talking about 2 guys who rank among the very best in the whole country.

But, that’s something to worry about next year.

For now, we have each of those guys. And, what a blessing it is, as we have them at their primes – it’s normally the case that NCAA hockey players are at their pinnacle as seniors. If that’s true this year, the sky’s the limit. This is certainly a team with the mental and physical make-ups to make it to the SUNYAC championship and beyond.

Of all the years that I’ve watched Brockport hockey (this will be my 23rd season in the stands), this is the team that I’ve had the most hope for. All the pieces are there. Their time is now.

Count my words, 2015-2016 will be something special.